Following SPECPR-99 <> and this email string <> from 2014, the imminent RM 1.0.4 release will include SPECRM-80 <>, which improves the documentation about /system_id/, which is recorded in the EHR and also in AUDIT_DETAILS, i.e. on each committed version.

In response to this, I have added the following documentation to the Architecture Overview, and will also add further text and hot links to the specific locations in the EHR and Common parts of the RM. It would be useful to know if this agrees with the understanding of openEHR system implementers and users.


     6.1. The EHR System

The notion of a logical EHR /system/ is central to the openEHR architecture. In openEHR, a system is understood as a distinct logical repository corresponding to an organisational entity that is /legally responsible/ for the management and governance of the healthcare data contained within. This may be a regional health service that serves multiple provider enterprises or a single provider enterprise such as a larger hospital. The 'system' is therefore in general distinct from specific applications and also from provider organisations, even if in some cases it happens to be owned by a single provider. It is also distinct from any underlying virtualisation infrastructure or cloud computing facility, which may house multiple logical EHR systems in a multi-tenant fashion. This is clear by comparing the legal responsibilities of the infrastructure provider, which are for /generic IT service management/ to a procurer, which may be a healthcare data management entity. It is the latter that undertakes legal responsibility for the content, on behalf of one or more healthcare provider organisations.

The technical criterion for identifying an EHR system is that it is the entity that assigns version identifiers within a repository.

       6.1.1. System Identity

Within the openEHR architecture, a |/system_id/| attribute is recorded both within each patient EHR (|EHR| class), and also within the audit created with each commit of data to an EHR (|AUDIT_DETAILS| class). This identifier identifies the logical EHR system as described above, and may be of any form. Common forms include the reverse domain name and plain and structured string identifiers. The system identifier is /not assumed to be directly processable/, but may instead be used as a key, for example in a service maintaining location information.

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